Pollinators Week (Photograph of Bee Pollinating a Flower

Pollinators

Period: 22-28 March 2021

Now that Spring is well and truly upon us, we thought it was time to have a look, and a listen for our most important pollinating friends.

Pollinating insects are a vital part of Scotland's biodiversity.

This week join us to learn about pollinators, such as bees, and why they are so important to us and the environment we live in.

Photograph of Bees At A Hive

Sections


Activities

What Is Pollination?

At this time of year, the bumblebees are an excellent example, and they are starving as they will have lost a lot of their fat reserves over winter. Spring flowers are ideal sources of fresh nectar for bumblebees and other insects.

When the insects land on the flowers, they carry the pollen between the flowers of the same type of plant and fertilise them, making more seeds and fruit. These fantastic little creatures are not just doing a lovely favour to our gardens in terms of keeping our flowers flourishing, but they play a vital role in food production and of course, our farming industry. Their hard work ensures we have a plentiful supply of fruit and vegetables and cereals.

Can you think of any flying pollinators you might meet in the garden or park or even on your walk to school?

Pollen
Photograph of Polllen

Bees

You will maybe have read recently that everything is being done to help our little bee friends as they must have the correct habitat to flourish and keep up the fantastic work they do. Did you know that it is thought that a third of the food we eat every day relies on bees to have been involved in the pollination. They are, of course, assisted by other insects and birds and even bats!

Keep an eye out in your garden for bees and watch carefully as they work away on the flowers' pollen. Take good care not to disturb them. Look at the flowers they are enjoying and plant more of them.

Remember, not all bees live in hives. Some live in the ground in a nest - for example, the Mining Bee is a solitary bee species that nests in the ground on its own. In fact there are 200 different solitary bee species in the UK.

Watch this video to learn more about the bees in Scotland and then you can read more about How Bees Make Honey.

Slow Motion

Now checkout our slow motion video of a bee flying. This video was recorded just this weekend in the sunshine. Can you hear the bee's wings beating?

Did you Know...?

  • Did you know that bees have five eyes - they can see light but not shapes.
  • Bees groom themselves and one another a bit like a cat to keep their lovely furry coats clean and neat.
  • The flavour of your honey is determined by the flower that the nectar comes from - you will have seem heather honey in farm shops and garden centres perhaps!

Do some research on bees and let us know what you find out.

Have a go at our bee crafts on the next rainy day, and send us your photographs of how you get on.

Upload Your Photographs

How Bees Make Honey
How Bees Make Honey (Scottish Bee Company)
Bees In Scotland - Identification Guide
Bees In Scotland - Identification Guide (PDF) (NatureScot)
Slow Motion Bee Video Can Your Hear the Wings?

Other Pollinators

Can you think of any flying pollinators you might meet in the garden or park or even on your walk to school? Examples include, not only bees, but beetles, ladybirds, butterflies, moths and hoverflies.

Watch this video to learn more.

Scotland's Pollinators Video
Ladybird
Ladybird
Butterfly
Butterfly

Make Space For The Pollinators

Now is the time for getting the garden ready for summer planting. Are your family making plans for the months ahead?

Beds need to be turned over and tidied and seeds need to be planted so maybe have a think about what could be grown in the garden that would attract some of our lovely pollinators.

Perhaps you could get involved in the planning for the garden this year and suggest some seeds and plants to support the bees.

Lavender is very popular with bees and makes the garden smell lovely.

You may already have some crocus flowers in your garden now and if you watch closely you may see some pollinators.

Marjoram looks really pretty and is another flower that bees enjoy visiting.

Pussy Willow trees will often attract queen bumblebees as they move to a new colony.

Check out the seeds in your local shop - what about the wildflower mix this will be most attractive for the insects and hopefully bring them into your garden!

Lavender
Lavender

Also see our other Home Learning Portal information and don't forget to enter our Competition of the Week.

If you have enjoyed these activities please share them with your friends and family.